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Northpower Trades Cadetship Programme

Northpower Trades Cadetship Programme to nurture local talent

Northpower has launched a comprehensive training programme to help address a skills shortage in Northland.

The Northpower Trades Cadetship Programme was announced by Minister of Employment, the Honourable Willie Jackson, in Whangarei today.

Northpower has partnered with fellow Northland-owned business People Potential (private training establishment) to create an industry shaped introductory programme to help local talent into the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI).

The partnership has been created in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and with help from the Ministry of Education.

Northpower Chief Executive Andrew McLeod believes it is a ground-breaking community partnership that provides people with careers they might not have had access to otherwise.

“It is also a perfect fit for Northpower’s Northland Strategy which is about improving accessibility, opportunity and prosperity for Northlanders by having a positive impact on our community and maximising our regional impact,” says Northpower Chief Executive Andrew McLeod.

Northpower’s General Manager of People and Capability, Andrea O’Brien, says there is immense value in two Northland-owned companies working together.

“The ability for the model to be transportable outside of the Northland Region is exciting as it will help us address skills shortages in other parts of our business throughout the North Island,” says Mrs O’Brien.



The Northpower Trades Cadetship Programme is a pre-apprenticeship training framework providing quality employment opportunities in Northland and is being led by Northpower’s Training Specialist Richie Ashby.

“We are launching the programme to address a significant, long-term skills shortage in the electricity sector and because we believe this is the best pathway for people to enter the industry and move into paid employment. Our aim is to train 10-12 Whangarei-based cadets annually,” says Mr Ashby.

“What has impressed me so much about our home grown Trade Cadets is the spark in their eye when they can see the opportunities ahead of them. There is a lot of talent in Northland and helping develop that is great for Northpower and Northland in addressing a long-term skills shortage.

“The collaboration that has gone into developing the programme has been amazing and I am so proud of what People Potential and Northpower have developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and help from the Ministry of Education.

“What the electricity sector teaches you is to think for yourself, to collaborate, work as a team, take individual responsibility – and with that comes the chance to grow as a person. I certainly have. The great thing about working for Northpower is that we’ve always had good people, great training equipment and the support of our senior leaders to help make these opportunities available.”

Mr Ashby says Northpower is excited about helping regional growth by supporting the development of local talent and provide career paths for – Cable Jointers, Arborists, Line Mechanics, and Electricians.

As the Northpower Trades Cadetship Programme becomes more established, Northpower hopes to provide career pathways for – Electrical Fitters, Project Managers, Engineers, Electrical Fitters and Technicians – and also introduce additional cadets into Northpower’s Auckland and Central North Island Contracting business units.

People Potential Managing Director Andrea Ross says it is a great partnership with Northpower.

“I love the fact that the cadets actually gain a qualification before they even start with Northpower thanks to a 20-week foundation course with People Potential. What makes the course unique is the length of it so students aren’t unnecessarily rushed and they get plenty of time to embed the important life-skills they are learning,” says Mrs Ross.

The full programme consists of:

· A 20-week Foundation Course with People Potential

· 14-week industry course (Level 2 Electricity Supply Course)

· A six-month fixed term placement within Northpower (work experience)

At the conclusion of the programme there may be an opportunity to secure a training contract with Northpower studying a Level 4 NZ Trade Certificate across the following areas;

· Level 4 Line Mechanic Distribution or Transmission

· Level 4 Cable Jointer

· Level 4 Vegetation Control

· Level 4 Electrical Engineering

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